AWS Systems Manager Cheat Sheet

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AWS Systems Manager Cheat Sheet for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02) exam. This AWS cheat sheet contains detailed exam-specific facts to help you pass your AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam.

AWS Systems Manager Cheat Sheet

AWS Systems Manager allows you to centralize operational data from multiple AWS services and automate tasks across your AWS resources.

You can create logical groups of resources such as applications, different layers of an application stack, or production versus development environments.

With Systems Manager, you can select a resource group and view its recent API activity, resource configuration changes, related notifications, operational alerts, software inventory, and patch compliance status.

You can also take action on each resource group depending on your operational needs.

Systems Manager provides a central place to view and manage your AWS resources, so you can have complete visibility and control over your operations.

Centralized console and toolset for a wide variety of system management tasks.

Designed for managing a large fleet of systems – tens or hundreds.

SSM Agent enables System Manager features and supports all OSs supported by OS as well as back to Windows Server 2003 and Raspbian .

SSM Agent installed by default on recent AWS-provided base AMIs for Linux and Windows.

Manages AWS-based and on-premises based systems via the agent.

The AWS Systems Manager console integrates with AWS Resource Groups, and it offers grouping capabilities in addition to other native integrations.

Systems Manager Inventory:

  • AWS Systems Manager collects information about your instances and the software installed on them, helping you to understand your system configurations and installed applications.
  • You can collect data about applications, files, network configurations, Windows services, registries, server roles, updates, and any other system properties.
  • The gathered data enables you to manage application assets, track licenses, monitor file integrity, discover applications not installed by a traditional installer, and more.

Configuration Compliance.

  • AWS Systems Manager lets you scan your managed instances for patch compliance and configuration inconsistencies.
  • You can collect and aggregate data from multiple AWS accounts and Regions, and then drill down into specific resources that aren’t compliant.
  • By default, AWS Systems Manager displays data about patching and associations. You can also customize the service and create your own compliance types based on your requirements. .


  • AWS Systems Manager allows you to safely automate common and repetitive IT operations and management tasks across AWS resources.
  • With Systems Manager, you can create JSON documents that specify a specific list of tasks or use community published documents.
  • These documents can be executed directly through the AWS Management Console, CLIs, and SDKs, scheduled in a maintenance window, or triggered based on changes to AWS resources through Amazon CloudWatch Events.
  • You can track the execution of each step in the documents as well as require approvals for each step.
  • You can also incrementally roll out changes and automatically halt when errors occur.

Run Command:

  • Use Systems Manager Run Command to remotely and securely manage the configuration of your managed instances at scale. Use Run Command to perform on-demand changes like updating applications or running Linux shell scripts and Windows PowerShell commands on a target set of dozens or hundreds of instances.

Session Manager:

  • AWS Systems Manager provides you safe, secure remote management of your instances at scale without logging into your servers, replacing the need for bastion hosts, SSH, or remote PowerShell.
  • It provides a simple way of automating common administrative tasks across groups of instances such as registry edits, user management, and software and patch installations.
  • Through integration with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), you can apply granular permissions to control the actions users can perform on instances.
  • All actions taken with Systems Manager are recorded by AWS CloudTrail, allowing you to audit changes throughout your environment.

Patch Manager:

  • AWS Systems Manager helps you select and deploy operating system and software patches automatically across large groups of Amazon EC2 or on-premises instances.
  • Through patch baselines, you can set rules to auto-approve select categories of patches to be installed, such as operating system or high severity patches, and you can specify a list of patches that override these rules and are automatically approved or rejected.
  • You can also schedule maintenance windows for your patches so that they are only applied during preset times.
  • Systems Manager helps ensure that your software is up-to-date and meets your compliance policies.

Maintenance Windows:

  • AWS Systems Manager lets you schedule windows of time to run administrative and maintenance tasks across your instances.
  • This ensures that you can select a convenient and safe time to install patches and updates or make other configuration changes, improving the availability and reliability of your services and applications.


  • Distributor is an AWS Systems Manager feature that enables you to securely store and distribute software packages in your organization.
  • You can use Distributor with existing Systems Manager features like Run Command and State Manager to control the lifecycle of the packages running on your instances.

State Manager:

  • AWS Systems Manager provides configuration management, which helps you maintain consistent configuration of your Amazon EC2 or on-premises instances.
  • With Systems Manager, you can control configuration details such as server configurations, anti-virus definitions, firewall settings, and more.
  • You can define configuration policies for your servers through the AWS Management Console or use existing scripts, PowerShell modules, or Ansible playbooks directly from GitHub or Amazon S3 buckets.
  • Systems Manager automatically applies your configurations across your instances at a time and frequency that you define.
  • You can query Systems Manager at any time to view the status of your instance configurations, giving you on-demand visibility into your compliance status.

Parameter Store:

  • AWS Systems Manager provides a centralized store to manage your configuration data, whether plain-text data such as database strings or secrets such as passwords.
  • This allows you to separate your secrets and configuration data from your code. Parameters can be tagged and organized into hierarchies, helping you manage parameters more easily.
  • For example, you can use the same parameter name, “db-string”, with a different hierarchical path, “dev/db-string” or “prod/db-string”, to store different values.
  • Systems Manager is integrated with AWS Key Management Service (KMS), allowing you to automatically encrypt the data you store.
  • You can also control user and resource access to parameters using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Parameters can be referenced through other AWS services, such as Amazon Elastic Container Service, AWS Lambda, and AWS CloudFormation.

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